Taejo of Goguryeo

Taejo of Goguryeo

Infobox Korean name
hangul=태조(대)왕, 국조왕
hanja=太祖(大)王, 國祖王
rr=Taejo-(dae)wang, Gukjo-wang
mr=T'aejo-(tae)wang, Kukcho-wang
hangulborn=고궁 "or" 어수
hanjaborn=高宮 "or" 於漱
rrborn=Go Gung "or" Eosu
mrborn=Ko Kung "or" Ǒsu
King Taejo of Goguryeo (47? - 165, r. 53 - 146) was the sixth monarch of Goguryeo, the northernmost of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. He is sometimes called Taejo the Great. He rose to the throne following the assassination of King Mobon. Under his reign, the young state expanded its territory and developed into a centrally ruled kingdom. His 93 year reign is thought to be the second longest of any monarch in the world.


Taejo was the grandson of Goguryeo's second king, Yuri, and the son of Jaesa (재사, 再思), the head of the Go house of the Kyeru lineage, one of the five powerful houses of the royal court. His mother was from Buyeo.

Although the unpopular Mobon had named his son Ik as the crown prince, after Mobon's death in 53, the Goguryeo court nominated Jaesa to be the next king. Citing his advanced age, Jaesa declined, and his seven-year old son Gung became king. The queen dowager acted as regent for the young king.

Expansion and centralization

During the first year of his reign, he centralized the kingdom by turning the five clans into five provinces ruled by a governor from that clan, who were under the direct control of the king. He thereby firmly established royal control of the military, economy, and politics.

He conquered the states of East Okjeo in 56, Galsa in 68, Jona in 72, and Juna in 74. He absorbed regional forces into the central bureaucracy, and traveled throughout his territories to strengthen royal control.

He fought on various occasions with China's Han Dynasty and disrupted trade between Lelang and Han. In 55, he ordered the construction of a fortress in the Liaodong area. He attacked Chinese border regions in 105, 111, and 118. In 122, Taejo allied with the Mahan confederacy of central Korea and the neighboring Yemaek tribe to attack Liaodong, greatly expanding the realm of Goguryeo. He launched another major attack in 146.


In the 94th year of his reign, Taejo's younger brother Suseong took the throne to become King Chadae. Although not found in the more orthodox "Samguk Sagi", the "Samguk Yusa" says that Chadae soon killed both of Taejo's sons, and that the subsequent king Sindae, younger half-brother to Taejo and Chadae, killed both of his brothers in 165.

According to "Samguk Sagi" and "Samguk Yusa", Taejo died at the age of 119, after ruling for 93 years, making him the longest living and reigning king in Korean history.

ee also

*List of Korea-related topics
*History of Korea
*Three Kingdoms of Korea
*List of Korean monarchs


* Yang, S.C. "The South and North Korean political systems: A comparative analysis." (Rev. Ed.) Seoul: Hollym. ISBN 1-56591-105-9
* http://www.koreandb.net/Sam/bon/samkuk/04_1501.htm

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